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Edgartown, Massachusetts
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July 26, 2013

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[ Fishing Sailing Waterfront Nature Community Section FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2013 VINEYARD GAZE'FFE, MARTH.S. VINF.YARD, MASS. ONE-B Christine MCLean keeps rhythm in mostly female, over 60 doo wop band. Not Just Young Man's Game: Serendipity Keeps Rocking By KATIE RUPPEL CHUCK A CHOO CHOOS, SHOOBY DOO WOP DEE WOPS Merrily Fenner, Mark Mazer, Christine McLean and Janis Syslo practice in Merrily's basement. Pictures b and wah wah oohs echoed in Merrily F enner s basement at a band rehearsal for Serendipity, the Island s new mostly-female doo "We are all older now, in our 60s." Ms. without a bassist and Merrily and Janice many ways uplifting. wop group. The band features Ms. Fenner on bass or guitar, Christine McLean on rhythm guitar, Chris Seidel on drums, Janis Syslo on tam- bourine, Maxk Mazer on guitar, and the occasional Penny Huff on bass. 9WAW o eoem~ xoem A A~LINCHAtN/~enetlv g0,Ro~,'~n De*OPY** C f. 8~OOM Serendipity learned 70 songs in past six months. Fenner said between songs. "We've got no place to go that we care about. We're happy as clams playing music for hours in the basement." During their songs the melodies bounced like a hot potato from one female voice to the next. Ms. Syslo's delicate phrasing gave way to Mrs. McLean's soulful tone and then over to Ms. Fenner's crisp voice. "There's something safe about being in your 60s," Ms. Syslo said. "You think. what the hell, I'm just gonna have fun." At the end of the classic song Fever. the ladies turned to Mr. Mazer, pointed their fingers, and made a sizzle sound. He shrugged and gave a sheepish smile. "Mark is'the best person in the world to play with," said Ms. Fenner. "Not too many guys can do what he does," added Mrs. McLean. "Have four women telling him what to do." The musicians have played in a corn- bination of bands on the Island, per- forming reggae to rock and working without drums, the two groups clicked. "It s a priority" Ms. Syslo said. "It's "Serendipity is a perfect name for us what's given me the lift that I need, the because we feel so lucky to have each loy in my life that I need." other." Ms. Fenner said. "We all like each In January Ms. Svslo's husband Mike other which sometimes isn't the case. I died suddenly from a heart attack. Mike mean, we actually like each other." Sysl9 was the director of the lobster The group has'learned more than 70 hatchery and a well-known Islander, and songs in the past six months, from Mr. her companion for more than 30 years. Postman to Mama Said to Little GTO, "When something big happens, a a song they learned specifically for the big loss, you go into survival mode and Antique Car Show in ltme, throw yourself into something that will "We come sort of bleary-eyed to a save you," she said. "'It's like a life line." rehearsal," Ms. Fenner said, "Then get Eves closed Ms. Syslo snaps, sways exhilarated and realize we have gone and smiles when she sings. through three hours of rehearsal with- "This whole thing just tickles me," out a break!" she said. "I hope it inspires other peo- The band zips from one song to the pie. That they say, 'V~bw, these older next, vocals clean and distinct even women are tap there staging? Maybe it when three different phrases are being isn't too late for me.'" harmonized at once. But that's how do() Serendipity will be playing concerts wop goes. the summer at the Portuguese Ameri- "We are doing the doo wop because can Club and at Polly Hill on August 6. of the complicated harmonies." Ms. And this Sunday, luly 28, a performance Fenner said."We have to work diligently by the band will be auctioned off at to accomplish that end result." the Possible Drean~s auction to support Martha's ~neyard Comnmnity Services. separately and together for decades. But the practices are in no way a - Eadjgt: rl*Ms. McLean and ch0r ,: atldmates say &at rehe( ,, Ms. geidel rece RyYotmd :themselves ats ,|u,stasX n as per/brining, awl in For booking of the band ,cadg ~bnner at 508-645-3814 ............. . Band TEA LANE ASSOCIATES Ch Imark 508-645-2628 West Tisburv: q()g-696-9999 CLASSIC CHILMARK HOME New to the Market! With handsome, big living spaces, high ceilings and 2 fireplaces, this 3-bedroom home is sited on 2.3 very pretty acres in a small enclave off South Road. $849,000. NEWLY LISTED IN EDGARTOWN This lovely well cared for home features open living spaces, first floor master, two additional bedrooms, 2 car garage and a separate 2 bedroom In-law apartment. Close to Edgartown Village. $725,000. Scotchman's Bridge. Lane, West Tisbury, MA 02575 (508) 693-7832 WWW.OVERTOOMMV.COM LANDMARKS REAL ESTATE WATER, WATER EVERYWttERE!!! www'mvlandmarks'emCwater Beachfront AND lakefront cottage offering magnificent sunrises over Lake Tashmoo & majestic sunsets over Vineyard Sound. Enjoy fishing, clamming, kayaking & swimming right at your doorstep. A world away yet just a short 2 mile drive back to town and ferry. Come & see this seaside cottage on the dunes of the barrier beach where East meets West. EXCLUSIVE $2,450,000 I KNOW the Vineyard! V' w Peter's Picks & BU oniinel VINEYARD GAZETTE (US 659-940) Published weekly on Friday, year-round. Office at 34 South Summer Street, Edgar- town, Mass. 02539 (Tel. 508-627-431 I; FAX 508-627-7444). Periodicals postage paid at Edgartown, Mass. 02539. E-mail: news@ mvgazette, com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to VINEYARD GAZETTE, P.O. Box 66,Edgar- town, MA 02539. This newspaper does not assume respon- sibility for errors in advertisements printed herein, but will print without charge that part of any advertisement in which an error occurs. CASTLE FOR SALE 4 Bed/a Bath Edgartown Home 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath Edgartown Home on .5 acre. Manicured lot plus 1 car garage and many more features. New Price $539,900. "We feel so lucky to have each other," says bassist Merrily Fenner. will auction offperformance at Possible Dreams auction this weekend. BRIGHT AND AIRY IN CHILMARK Recently renovated, this fresh, open and airy 4 br/2.5 bath contemporary home is privately set on four acres with gardens and a small peek of the Vineyard Sound. Exclusive. $950,000. 504 State Road, West Tisbury, MA 02575 * Beetlebung Corner, Chilmark, MA 02535 To See all Island Listings Click on